The 2021 Men's All-Tournament Team After the National Championship
The 2021 NCAA men's tournament is over, and the Baylor Bears are national champions.
The Bears jumped out to an 11-1 lead in the first four minutes and never looked back, controlling the game on both ends of the floor en route to an 86-70 victory.
With a big advantage on the boards (38-22) and an excellent night shooting the three-point ball (10-of-23), the Bears' strengths outshined a Gonzaga team that had cruised for much of the year before being pushed to the brink in an emotional overtime win against UCLA on Saturday.
With March Madness over, it's time to pick our All-Tournament Team, with first-team and second-team spots up for grabs.
To be considered for inclusion, a player had to have reached the Elite Eight, and first-team honors were reserved for players who appeared in the Final Four.
Let's get to it.
Corey Kispert, Gonzaga
Stats: 16.0 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.0 SPG, 42.2 3PT%
Arguably the best shooter in the nation and a first-team All-American, Kispert had his best game of the tournament against an overmatched Norfolk State team in the opening round with 23 points and 6-of-9 shooting from deep. He was a steady contributor the rest of the way, scoring at least 12 points in all six of the Bulldogs' games, and that earned him a second-team nod.
Quentin Grimes, Houston
Stats: 17.0 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 2.4 APG, 1.8 SPG, 38.3 3PT%
A big reason Baylor was able to run away with its Final Four victory over Houston was the job Davion Mitchell did shutting down Grimes. He finished with 13 points on 1-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc after averaging 18 points and a 43.6 percent clip from distance through the first four games of the tournament. Despite that disappointing finish, he was still more than deserving of a place among the second-team honorees.
Justin Smith, Arkansas
Stats: 17.8 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 2.0 SPG, 1.8 APG, 1.0 BPG, 56.9 FG%
Arkansas was at its best this season when Smith was shouldering the load on both ends of the floor, and that held true during the tournament. The 6'7" senior had a 29-point, 13-rebound performance in the opener against Colgate, tallied 20 points against Texas Tech and then had another double-double in the Sweet 16 against Oral Roberts. The Baylor defense limited him to 10 points on nine shot attempts in the Elite Eight, but he still more than earned his spot.
Ethan Thompson, Oregon State
Stats: 18.0 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 4.0 APG, 30.8 3PT%
The Beavers' leading scorer during the regular season at 15.5 points per game, Thompson was integral in the No. 12 seed's unlikely run to the Elite Eight. He poured in 26 points against Oklahoma State in the second round when he went 15-of-16 from the free-throw line, and he followed that up with a 22-point showing against the stingy Loyola-Chicago defense.
Evan and Isaiah Mobley, USC
Evan's stats: 13.5 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 4.0 APG, 2.0 BPG, 52.6 FG%
Isaiah's stats: 16.0 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 2.8 APG, 0.8 BPG, 61.0 FG%
Evan Mobley lived up to the hype as a future lottery pick and the Pac-12 Player of the Year, filling up the stat sheet despite never really taking over games at any point for the Trojans. His older brother, Isaiah, made his own mark in the tournament with double figures in all four games. They are a worthy co-selection for the final spot on the second team.
First Team: Jared Butler, Baylor
Stats: 15.2 PPG, 5.0 APG, 3.5 RPG, 1.7 SPG, 36.8 3PT%
Jared Butler is capable of filling it up offensively, but that's not why he was a first-team All-American.
The 6'3" junior averaged 17.1 points, 4.8 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game during the regular season, serving as both a distributor and a knockdown shooter who drained 42.9 percent of his attempts from three-point range.
He helped set the tone early against Houston in the Final Four, scoring 17 points in the first half as the Bears built an insurmountable 45-20 lead.
That was followed by his best offensive performance of the tournament in the championship game when he tallied 22 points on 6-of-14 shooting, including 4-of-9 from beyond the arc.
He surprised more than a few people when he decided to return to campus, and he made the most of it by helping deliver a national championship.
First Team: Johnny Juzang, UCLA
Stats: 22.8 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 37.5 3PT%, 50.9 FG%
What a tournament for Johnny Juzang.
The Kentucky transfer averaged just 12 points during his first 13 games of the season, scoring in single digits five times during that stretch. Then he flipped the switch in mid-February with 25 and 32 points against Washington State and Washington, respectively, in back-to-back games.
After turning it on late in the season, the 6'6" sophomore scored 23 points in the Bruins' dramatic overtime win against Michigan State in the First Four game and never looked back.
He went 15-of-40 from beyond the arc in the tournament after shooting a modest 35.5 percent from downtown during the regular season, and he scored 28 of UCLA's 51 points in a two-point victory over Michigan in the Elite Eight.
With four 20-point performances in six games, he was integral to the success of what will go down as the best No. 11 seed in tournament history.
First Team: Davion Mitchell, Baylor
Stats: 13.5 PPG, 5.8 APG, 2.8 RPG, 1.7 SPG, 36.4 3PT%
Outside of UCLA star Johnny Juzang, no one did more to boost their NBA stock than Davion Mitchell, and he was already a clear future pro.
The Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and a knockdown shooter who connected on 46.2 percent of his outside attempts during the regular season, he has three-and-D potential that was abundantly clear going into the tournament.
However, his ability as a distributor was also on full display in wins over Wisconsin (8 assists, 3 turnovers) and Houston (11 assists, 0 turnovers), and his elite athleticism is undeniable.
He pestered Jalen Suggs into several turnovers Monday night, helping set the tone as the catalyst of the Bears' turnover-hunting defensive unit.
It looks like he's done enough to be drafted in the first round, and he did more than enough to earn first-team All-Tournament honors.
First Team: Jalen Suggs, Gonzaga
Stats: 14.5 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 4.7 APG, 1.7 SPG, 47.0 FG%
Jalen Suggs delivered the most memorable moment of the tournament.
His game-winning buzzer-beater in overtime against UCLA in the Final Four and subsequent leap onto the scorer's table will be one of the enduring moments from a memorable March Madness.
On a Gonzaga team built around Drew Timme and Corey Kispert, the freshman phenom wasn't always a focal point, but he filled up the stat sheet on a nightly basis, and the tournament provided no exception.
After a rocky start, he led the Bulldogs with 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting in 33 minutes Monday night, overcoming a few early turnovers and two quick fouls to leave it all on the floor.
The dynamic point guard will be one-and-done, but he made his mark on the program as the team's primary ball-handler and facilitator.
First Team: Drew Timme, Gonzaga
Stats: 20.3 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 3.7 APG, 64.9 FG%
Drew Timme was a rock for Gonzaga all season.
The 6'10" sophomore was not only the Bulldogs' leading scorer, but he also passed extremely well, allowing the offense to flow through him.
After a quiet 10-point game against Norfolk State in which he played just 22 minutes, he exploded for a season-high 30 points on 9-of-12 shooting and 12-of-14 shooting from the free-throw line against Oklahoma in the second round.
He followed that with three straight 20-point games, and arguably his most impressive performance of the tournament came in the Elite Eight when he scored 23 points against touted USC freshman Evan Mobley.
The second-team All-American was forced into five turnovers by Baylor on Monday, but he still finished with 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting to cap an impressive tournament.
Stats courtesy of Sports Reference.